Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Every weekend I find myself, usually after church, at a bookstore of some kind.
This Sunday it was the Barns & Noble by my parents house in Chicago.
Taking books off their shelves,
opening to a random page,
reading a bit,
deciding to read on or replace by another random selection,
is the most perfect way to spend a Sunday.

The gem at random this week was:
'Wonderful Town'
the New Yorker's compilation of
various short stories they have featured over the years.
It is wonderful.

Here is one of my favorites:
"The Whore of Mensa" by Woody Allen
"I think Melville reaffirmed the virtues of innocence in a naive yet sophisticated sense - don't you agree?" I let her go on. She was barely nineteen years old, but already she had developed the hardened facility of the pseudo-intellectual. She rattled off her ideas glibly, but it was all mechanical. Whenever I offered an insight, she faked a response: "Oh yes, Kaiser. Yes, baby, that's deep. A platonic comprehension of Christianity - why didn't I see it before?" We talked for about an hour and then she said she had to go. She stood up and I laid a C-note on her.

"Thanks, honey."

"There's plenty more where that came from."

"What are you trying to say?" I had piqued her curiosity. She sat down again.

"Suppose I wanted to have a party?" I said.

"Like, what kind of a party?"

"Suppose I wanted Noam Chomsky explained to me by two girls?"

"Oh, wow."

"If you'd rather forget it..."

"You'd have to speak with Flossie," she said. "It's cost you." Now was the time to tighten the screws. I flashed my private- investigator's badge and informed her it was a bust.